White House rejects Russian proposal for Ukrainian referendum

  1. White House rejects Russian proposal for Ukrainian referendum  CBS News
  2. Trump team worries: Could Helsinki disaster strengthen Mueller’s hand?  CNN
  3. Diplomats scold Trump for toying with idea of Russia interrogation swap  Politico
  4. Trump could get his intel from the government. Instead, he gets it from Fox News.  Washington Post
  5. Full coverage

Source: Google News

Aid group rejects donation from Salesforce over its links to US border agency

Aid group rejects donation from Salesforce over its links to US border agencyRaices has condemned Salesforce’s relationship with CBP. A not-for-profit legal aid group for immigrants and refugees has rejected a $250,000 donation from Salesforce over the technology company’s contracts with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “When it comes to supporting oppressive, inhumane, and illegal policies, we want to be clear: the only right action is to stop,” wrote Jonathan Ryan, executive director of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (Raices), in an email to Salesforce published on Twitter.

Source: Yahoo! News

Three Californias? Court rejects vote on carving up state

Three Californias? Court rejects vote on carving up stateCalifornians won’t be voting after all this November on whether the Golden State should be carved up into three separate states. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a move that would have put the controversial initiative on the ballot for the mid-term elections. The measure, known as Proposition 9, had earned enough signatures to be placed on the November 6, 2018 ballot but the state’s highest court torpedoed the move.

Source: Yahoo! News

Mike Pompeo rejects EU appeal for exemptions in sanctions against Iran

Mike Pompeo rejects EU appeal for exemptions in sanctions against IranMike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, has rejected a high-level appeal from the EU for exemptions from sanctions against Iran, throwing into doubt billions of euros worth of trade. Senior officials from Britain, France and Germany had pleaded with the US not to impose sanctions next month on European companies which do business with Iran.  In a letter to the nations’ finance and foreign ministers, Mr Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected the appeal, saying America wanted to exert “unprecedented financial pressure” on Tehran after President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May.  Mr Pompeo added that the US will not ease the sanctions until it sees a “tangible, demonstrable and sustained shift’’ in Iran’s policies. “The president withdrew from the [Iran nuclear deal] for a simple reason – it failed to guarantee the safety of the American people,’’ Mr Pompeo and Mr Mnuchin wrote in a letter leaked to the press on Sunday night.  “We are thus not in a position to make exceptions to this policy except in very specific circumstances where it clearly benefits our national security.’’ The letter was a response to an appeal from the three European countries last month, in which they said they “strongly regret” the US decision to withdraw.  Some of Europe’s biggest firms rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal was implemented in 2015 and last year the EU exported €10.8bn (£9.5bn) in goods and services to Iran.  Imports from Iran were also worth €10.1bn (£8.8bn). The other countries that reached the nuclear agreement with Iran – the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – pledged to continue to honour the nuclear agreement to lift economic sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. However the US withdrawal may make that a practical impossibility. Iran has said it will stay in the deal if it still receives the economic benefits. The EU nations had sought a host of exemptions, including assurances that secondary sanctions on companies that deal with Iran would not be applied to EU businesses and individuals.  However, one EU diplomat said they had not realistically expected to get sanctions relief from the US, and a number of companies such as Peugeot and Total have already cut back their business with Iran for fear of jeopardising their business prospects in the US. The first set of US sanctions, which take effect on August 6, will target Iran’s automotive sector, trade in gold and in other key metals. The remaining sanctions are due to come into effect on November 4 and will target Iran’s energy sector, in particular its oil trade, and transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

Source: Yahoo! News

FBI agent rejects allegations of anti-Trump bias as a 'notch in Putin's belt'

FBI agent rejects allegations of anti-Trump bias as a 'notch in Putin's belt'An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages raised suspicion of bias in the Russia investigation aggressively defended his professionalism, telling lawmakers he never allowed personal views to affect official decisions and that Republican attacks against him were “another victory notch in Putin’s belt”. Peter Strzok, who played a leading role in the FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, testified publicly for the first time on Thursday before a joint hearing of the House judiciary and oversight and government reform committees.

Source: Yahoo! News